By Jessica Mathews /

Now that a repaving project on Grand River in the City of Howell is mostly done, new pedestrian crossings will start to be installed downtown this week.

The Michigan Department of Transportation performed the resurfacing project and paving work was recently completed. Various detours have been in effect and the project was behind schedule. New mid-block pedestrian crossings will now be installed and be put in by a separate contractor hired by the City. DPW staff will be performing perform storm sewer installation, signage and restoration. The identified crosswalk locations include West Grand River between Chestnut and Center in front of the Howell Carnegie District Library; on East Grand River between State Street and Court; and on East Grand River in front of City Hall.

Council met virtually Monday night and City Manager Paul DeBuff provided an update on the work. DeBuff says people have probably noticed staff cutting out portions of the new road but he said it’s for a good cause. He said that work is scheduled to start on Wednesday or later this week. DeBuff added that DPW crews are also installing storm water catch basins at the library crossing this week.

As for the larger MDOT Grand River resurfacing project, it was noted during the meeting that MDOT has requested to do structure adjustments at night to limit traffic and potential detours. DeBuff said staff fully supports that as local businesses have been disturbed enough – noting many are very happy the work is done and the road cleared but it can be hard when there’s a lot of traffic. Mayor Nick proctor raised some questions about the manhole covers on Grand River being significantly lower, which rattles vehicles. It was stated that the covers will be raised up as part of the work MDOT is finishing up at night.

As for the crossings, City officials have said it would be nice to have them installed before the holiday shopping season.

Photo is a concept design.